Hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle-income countries and those that rely heavily on international primary commodity trade. The report also found that income inequality is rising in many of the countries where hunger is on the rise, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable, or marginalised to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns.
With 256 million people not having enough to eat, “hunger is on the rise in almost every region of Africa, making it the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment," says the report, which has been co-sponsored by several UN agencies, including UNICEF, the FAO and the World Health Organization. In Eastern Africa in particular, close to a third of the population (30.8 percent) is undernourished. In addition to climate and conflict, economic slowdowns and downturns are driving the rise. Since 2011, almost half the countries experiencing a sharp spike in hunger triggered by economic slowdowns or stagnation were in Africa.